I wonder, in that chaos, how many deities and spirits walked among them that morning. How many angels stood with wings outstretched to shield the bodies; how many ghosts shook their heads in memory of their own violent ends? If you had the Sight, would you have seen Anubis and Wepwawet waiting to guide the dead on, and valkyries forming an honor guard for the souls murdered for living bravely? Would you have seen Aphrodite and Hathor and Mary and Parvati weeping for the blooding of such a sacred space? I wonder, were Sekhmet and Inanna there to guide the bullets that finally slew the killer? Did Bast hold one of those beautiful brown children in Her arms as they died? Did Jesus and Muhammad share the same sad look they must always share, for all the times they’ve met like this? For every person on that scene – victims, bystanders, police, paramedics – were there twice as many spirits standing by to mourn or comfort or retaliate?
I remember taking refuge in a hotel bathroom in Switzerland because hearing on TV about a man who dressed up as a cop to murder children in Norway made me want to sob.
I remember feeling sick to my stomach in a Red Cross office as I learned about a man who had shot up an elementary school in Connecticut, killing adults and children alike.
And now I’ll remember laying in bed on a quiet Sunday morning, reading about a man who killed fifty people in a queer nightclub in Florida and wishing it was all a dream. I’ll remember rolling over to place my head on my girlfriend’s chest, wondering if there will come a time when I no longer hear her beautiful heartbeat; wondering if someone will shatter my family the way so many others have been shattered in the blink of an eye.